Emmerdale Past & Present Wiki

Jim Gimbel in 1975.

James "Jim" Gimbel was a regular character in Emmerdale Farm from 1974 to 1975. He appeared in 29 episodes and shot himself offscreen in June 1977 after becoming increasingly unhappy. He first appeared in Episode 213 (25th November 1974) and last appeared in episode Episode 269 (10th November 1975).

Jim Gimbel was first mentioned in October 1973 and several times in 1974 before first appearing later that year. Jim was the husband of Freda Gimbel and the father of Kathy, Martin, and Davey Gimbel. He was the farmer at Holly Farm in Beckindale near Emmerdale Farm and was an evangelical. He kept discipline at home with a leather belt. Freda Gimbel left him after he became violent towards his son Davey when he dared to stand up for his sister Kathy. And after becoming increasingly lonely, and after Joe Sugden and Kathy Gimbel became the villages first live in lovers which caused a scandal, Jim took his own life with a shotgun on the 21st June 1977. Jim was played by actor John Atkinson.


Jim Gimbel


April, 1925


21st June, 1977


A sister


Freda Gimbel (??-1977)


Kathy Gimbel (1952), Martin Gimbel (1955), Davey Gimbel, (1960)





First Appearance

Episode 213 (25th November 1974)

Last Appearance

Episode 269 (10th November 1975)

Played By

John Atkinson


Jim Gimbel was born in April 1925 in Beckindale. He was one of 2 children. He had a sister but not much is known about her. Jim's father was a strict man and this rubbed off on Jim. Jim married Freda in about 1950 and they had 3 children in the 1950s, Kathy in 1952, Martin in 1955 and Davy Gimbel in 1960. Jim was a farmer at Holly Farm, Beckindale. Jim was neighbours with the Sugdens at Emmerdale Farm.


Jim Gimbel in late 1975.

Villainous Jim Gimbel was mentioned in October 1973 by Amos Brearly when he mentioned his new motor car. In February 1974 Jim was mentioned by Sam Pearson. In October 1974 after Joe Sugden and his new wife Christine separated after just 6 weeks of marriage Joe started seeing Jim's recently separated daughter Kathy Davis. Jim disapproved of this. Jim used to frighten people with his fierce demeanour. Jim was a God botherer and often quoted the Bible.

In May 1975 Jim threw Martin Gimbel out after an argument with him but Martin was soon allowed back home. Jim felt he was being patronised by his son about how to do farming as Martin was a child Jim said. In January 1976 Jim and Freda went to visit Jim's sister.

In 1977 Jim became increasingly violent. He started physically abusing his children and when he raised his hand to Freda, Davey defended her but Jim turned on him. Freda left Jim and the live in lover scandal of his daughter Kathy with Joe Sugden forced the depressed Jim to shoot himself with a gun. His reign of terror in Beckindale ended.

First appearance Episode 213 (25th November 1974)

Last appearance Episode 269 (10th November 1975)

Memorable info[]

Birthday: April 1923

Died: 21st June 1977 (Aged 54)

Full Name: James Gimbel

In an April 1975 episode Kathy Gimbel mentions her fathers birthday is next week.


Siblings Miss Gimbel (first name and married name not revealed)

Spouse Freda Gimbel (Unknown maiden name) (c1950-1977)

Children Kathy Gimbel (1952), Martin Gimbel (1955), Davey Gimbel (1960)